Food & Drink

Publix, Sedano’s and grocery stores that can’t get rid of rodents, roaches or weevils

Miami

For the first time in 2019, weevils make an appearance on the Gross Grocers report. We haven’t had a weevil sighting on a failed inspection since December.

Also, perhaps we should restate some differences between these inspections, done by the Department of Agriculture, and the restaurant inspections done by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

A restaurant can get flat out shut down for a failed inspection and isn’t allowed to reopen until it passes a re-inspection. A Department of Agriculture inspector can drop Stop Sale orders on food, but can only hit parts of the establishment with Stop Use orders. Now, if enough parts or just the right (or wrong) parts get hit with Stop Use orders, a store might not be able to function profitably. But a failed inspection does not shut the store down automatically.

What follows comes from the Department of Agriculture inspections of supermarkets, grocers, convenience stores and food distributors. We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly (if you have a place where you see a problem, file a complaint here). We report without passion or prejudice, but with a clearance rack of humor.

The B’s Family Mart, 13000 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami — At least this time, the inspector didn’t see a dead rodent in front of a sales counter, as in the inspection that put the mart on the last Gross Grocers report.

“Dead rodent on floor glue board behind reach-in beverage coolers.”

Also, “Observed rodent excreta through out the entire establishment.”

Obviously, the inspector didn’t lift the Stop-Use Orders from the April 5 inspection, preventing the store from receiving new food or using its retail area shelves.

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Earth Fare, 4925 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens — In the produce department, the inspector saw someone moving a trash can to another room with gloves on, then going right back to cutting the melons wearing the same gloves.

“Food processing area, observed employee washing hands for approximately five seconds.”

Both cheese in the backroom and on the retail shelves “has mold accumulation.”

In the meat department, the inspector saw “food residue on cleaned chicken meat grinder in the meat cold room.”

“Mold-like build up on the ice chute of the ice machine in the retail customer area.”

As far as food being thrown away for being kept at unsafe temperatures: rotisserie chicken, prepared meals in a reach-in cooler, cheeses in a reach-in cooler, chopped eggs and cut melons in a reach-in cooler and, from the salad bar, prepared salads, sandwiches, chicken and tuna.

Family Dollar, 5055 10th St. N, Greenacres — To see more about the second consecutive rodent-heavy inspection that got the corporate office to shut this location down, click here for last week’s story.

FedEx Kinko’s, 595 W. 49th St., Hialeah — Still no hot water in the employee restroom. That’s when you start thinking about Hepatitis A.

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Fiesta Liquor Store, 7190 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade — No hot water at the handwashing sink in the unisex restroom.

Festival Supermarket No. 3, 10927 SW 40th St., West Miami-Dade — Weevils!

“Weevils found in packaged pasta on the shelf facing the meat reach-in cooler.”

“Food service, kitchen, deli, retail — numerous black flies found flying around and landing in various areas of the food establishment.”

“Employees found handling various tasks (breading fish, rinsing equipment, entering/exiting department) without changing gloves.”

The inspector dropped a Stop Use order on Tenderizer blades found heavily encrusted with old yellow food residue.

From the not-hot-enough holding unit, ham croquettes, beef stuffed potato, yuca, spinach and cheese empanadas and stuffed cheese pastries got tossed.

Gamarra Food Market, 4016 10th Ave N., Lake Worth — In the food processing area, inspector Carolyn Dragone saw an “employee washing hands with cold water. Employee washing hands without soap and not for 20 seconds.”

To be fair, that was because there was no soap at the handwashing sink.

In the walk-in cooler, the beans were left uncovered. The corn mixture wasn’t covered in the walk-in freezer.

That was likely too cold, unlike the chicken fixed the night before or from two to three days before that wasn’t cold enough. Same with some milk, cheese and yogurt on the retail reach-in cooler. All the food in this paragraph got trashed.

Gran Dia Bakery, 1660 W. 31st St., Hialeah — And the fruit flies fluttered about.

“In several areas of the processing observed presence of small fruit flies. Specifically behind floor mixer next to ware wash (area) and next to storage rack behind conveyor for dough balls.”

Among violations you don’t want to see in a bakery is “Equipment in use for processing dough to be further processed, found heavily encrusted with product residue.”

Several processing room handwashing sinks didn’t have soap or sanitizer. The handwash sink situation was the same in the pack room, where ready-to-eat food is packed.

Interport Logistics, 2200 NW 129th Ave., North Miami-Dade — This “major food distributor” has no hot water to the handwashing sinks in its restrooms, no proof of approved water or sewage system.

La Frontera, 257 NE Eighth St., Homestead — Regular readers know what follows “bag of flour gnawed on and adulterated on dry goods shelving?”

No, not “live roaches observed on three-compartment sink. Stop Use and Stop Sale Orders issued.” But, rather, “Dead mouse on glue trap on floor of unused restroom accessible through the back storage room.”

And they don’t just stay in the back storage area. They come out to the retail area where “rodent droppings observed on floor of soda and ice cream station, on floor of utility section by entrance to walk-in cooler, on floor and shelf of pet food aisle, on floor and shelf of dry goods aisle. Stop Use Order issued.”

Do we really need to see much more, even the flies by the three-compartment sink and grease trap?

Lowe’s Home Centers, 130 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines — There’s still rodent poop pellets under the pallets with the bird food, just as there was two weeks earlier.

“All the receiving areas of the establishment shall be placed on a Stop-Use Order, thus restricting any future receipt of food items by the establishment. Bird Food aisle, shelving and floor completely cleared of all merchandise, cleaned, sanitized, and inspected prior to the end of the inspection.”

Rodent poop spotting No. 3 will mean a Stop Sale strikeout of all food items.

701 Marathon Sunrise, 701 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale — In the food service area, “several rat droppings in cardboard boxes, sugar packets as well as shredded sugar packets. Rat droppings on shelve located in cabinet at food service area.” And, in the back room, more rat poop on the floor under the three-compartment sink and in the corners of the back storage room.

And there’s no valid 2019 food permit.

Products and More, 6542 W. Atlantic Blvd., Margate — For those with food allergies, this place that processes perishable foods is scarier than Thanos’ bad side.

“As per employee, all equipment and utensils are not being sanitized due to not having sanitizer. Equipment are just being washed with soap and water. Food entity process products with different allergens.”

But, “It was observed during inspection that employees had no knowledge of allergen management, equipment sanitizing, and labeling requirements.”

There was no handwashing sink near where the ready-to-eat desserts were packaged or near the warewashing sink.

“Stick fly traps hanging from ceiling above processing and packaging tables for ready-to-eat desserts.”

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Publix, 1181 S. University Dr., Plantation — No problems with living things caused this rare Publix fail, at least with living things that can be seen without a microscope. But general cleanliness seemed generally absent.

“Warewashing sink drain board found unclean with food residue while clean equipment was drying.”

“Small table mixer found with old yellow food residue on the underside of the blade attachment, and bread baking pans not cleaned every 24 hours as required.”

“Three sandwich station cutting boards not cleaned and still in use past the four-hour mark. In the produce area, melon variety cutting board and knives not cleaned and still in use past the four-hour mark.”

In the deli area, lunch meat, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and broccoli sprouts got tossed for being at a temperature not congruent with good food safety.

“Multiple food items (cooked shrimp, salmon burger, seafood potato) marked with today’s date instead of when the product was opened and stored commingled together with other dates.” Basura.

Ripon Food Mart, 1952 NE 49th St., Pompano Beach — “Tongs are under a Stop Use order due to roach infestation where the tongs are stored.”

“The cabinet beside the front door is infested with roaches. A stop use order is being issued for the cabinet and all food items on the cabinet. The left side of the back stock room is under a Stop Use order due to rodents.”

“The front handwash sink was completely inaccessible due to objects preventing access.”

Say Dollar Plus, 13045 SW 88th St., Kendall — The backroom got hit with a Stop Use order strictly on bugs.

“Live medium and small sized roaches found crawling on the door and wall of the employee restroom, as well as on the walls, and multiple cardboard boxes found throughout the backroom area. Food establishment must remove all food items from this area, and move all items so that the area may be cleaned and sanitized. No new food items may be placed in this area until released by an inspector.”

Sedano’s Supermarket, 10780 NW 58th St., Doral — What’s on the outside, comes from the inside and what’s on the inside, well...

In the seafood/warewashing area, “ice machine interior found with black mold-like stains on ice chute and around upper rim.” In the cafe, “metal canal to orange juicer found with heavy accumulation of stuck on dust.”

In the deli area, “lunch meat slicer found in use past 4 hours and not cleaned as required.” In the meat processing area, “tenderizer found with old yellow food (meat) residue in between the blades and old yellow food residue in between the meat canal to the table top grinder...old yellow meat residue found inside the barrel to the large flour grinder.”

Produce, blue bristle brush found inside the hand sink basin, and shopping cart with melons placed in front of the hand sink blocking the access.

Food tossed for being kept at unsafe temperatures included sweet ham, sliced turkey breast, muenster cheese and blocks of white cheese and bags of cut leafy greens.

Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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